Prince Harry will attend the coronation of King Charles next month, but his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, will remain in the United States.
Buckingham Palace has confirmed that Prince Harry will attend the coronation of King Charles at Westminster Abbey on May 6th following months of speculation. The statement also confirmed that Meghan Markle will remain in California with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet, making it the first time Harry will attend a royal event alone since he left the UK for the US. The statement read:
'Buckingham Palace is pleased to confirm that The Duke of Sussex will attend the Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey on May 6th. The Duchess of Sussex will remain in California with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.'
There was much speculation regarding whether Harry and Meghan would attend the historic occasion, with some reports suggesting that they would not be invited due to their strained relationship with the royal family. In March, the duke’s spokesperson told CNN that the couple had received an invitation to the coronation but had not yet confirmed their attendance.
Real reason behind Meghan’s absence
Even though Prince Harry will attend his father's coronation, his wife Meghan will remain at their residence in California with their kids to celebrate their son Archie's fourth birthday, which coincides with the coronation. The royal commentator and author Omid Scobie, who is said to be close to the couple and co-authored their biography Finding Freedom, tweeted:
'I understand that Archie’s fourth birthday (also on May 6) played a factor in the couple’s decision. Expect it to be a fairly quick trip to the UK for Prince Harry, who will only be attending the coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
According to the Guardian, King Charles is 'very disappointed' that Meghan Markle and their children, Archie and Lilibet, will not be attending the coronation. A source told The Sun that while the King is 'happy' that his 'darling boy' Harry will be attending the event, he is disappointed that he will not see the whole family. The source said:
'The King is happy that Harry, his son, who he calls his 'darling boy' will be at the Abbey. He wanted him there. It is sad, he is very disappointed that he won't see Meghan or his grandchildren but understands the situation.'
The King and Meghan were reportedly very close, with Charles even walking the Duchess of Sussex down the aisle in the absence of her own father. The source added that the King 'understands the situation' but is still saddened that Meghan and the children will not be present.
Bombshell memoir escalates tension
Prince Harry's attendance at the coronation will mark the first time he has seen his father and brother, Prince William, since the release of his tell-all memoir, Spare. In the book, Harry made several controversial allegations against members of his family, including that he felt trapped within the royal institution.
According to the CNN, one of the most controversial claims he made was about a physical altercation with his brother, Prince William, in which he claimed that William had pushed him into a dog bowl. The book also contained revelations about Harry's mental health struggles, his relationship with his wife Meghan, and his decision to step back from his royal duties.
The English version of the duke's memoirs broke a record by selling over 1.4 million copies on its initial day of release.
Since the release of his memoir, Prince Harry's relationship with his family has been strained. While William, as the Prince of Wales, is expected to play a key role in the coronation ceremony, it is unclear what role Harry will play.
Reports suggest the King will display a 'slimmed-down Monarchy' on the Buckingham Palace balcony following the ceremony, with those making the line-up including the Prince and Princess of Wales and their three children, George, Charlotte, and Louis.